COLERAINE Borough Council says it is “very concerned” about the potential loss of the 24/7 Accident and Emergency service at Causeway Hospital.
In its response to the government’s proposed shake up in local health services contained in the “Transforming Your Care” document, Council said that “the future of Causeway Hospital was of critical importance to the Council and the people of the Borough.”
In a statement issued last week, Council said it “recognised that the status quo was no longer an option and that changes to the services provided at Causeway Hospital were inevitable.”
“Throughout the consultation period, Council officials and elected members engaged with the Trust and Department of Health staff to consider the proposed changes.
“All parties worked collaboratively to produce a response that would be grounded in evidence and sound in policy terms; yet would represent the best possible outcome for the wider community.”
The mayor of Coleraine, councillor Sam Cole, said: “This piece of work is of significant strategic importance to this borough, setting the framework for the provision of acute care in this borough.
“We must ensure that what Council recommends can be delivered to ensure the long term health and well being of our community.
“We also must ensure that the health trust can optimise the services being delivered on 24 hour basis, as well as looking at alternative models. As a Council we will aim to collaborate closely with the health trust on this important matter. It is essential that any decisions are based on sound evidence and evaluation of options.”
The proposals were considered by councillors at a workshop in December.
The Council statement concludes: “Council will continue to work with the Minister and the Trust to address the concerns identified during the consultation.
“The core issues include: The scope of services provided at Causeway Hospital; the structural arrangements for Causeway Hospital, for example, the possibilities of closer links with the Western Trust; and closer linkages with the Local Commissioning Group to ensure that there is no democratic deficit in decisions that affect wider services across the Borough. By engaging with these critical topics over the coming months, “Council will attempt to influence the shape of health and social care in the borough for the benefit of all.”
Coleraine Borough Council’s response to the Transforming Your Care proposal can be read at www.colerainebc.gov.uk or by telephoning Coleraine Borough Council for a hard copy 70347034.